10-month-old Bobby is a chatty GP that loves to roll in the hay, eat his vegetables and view the world from his habitat. He is available for adoption at Humane Society Naples, along with his companion, Kyle.
Guinea pigs come in all sizes and hairstyles, from the American Cross smooth hair to the Sheltie whose flowing mane makes many jealous. And just like any animal, they have unique personalities — from feisty to shy and loving to silly.
March is Adopt a Guinea Pig month and here are 10 reasons to consider adopting one (or a pair!):
• They love companionship. Guinea pigs are social, herd animals that normally do better and are much happier in pairs. They’ll still bond with you even if they have a companion and by having two they won’t get lonely when you’re not around.
• They don’t need a lot of supplies. The basic set-up is hay (choose a type like Timothy hay, which helps their digestive system), a tunnel to hide in and a good size cage.
• They eat their vegetables. Guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C, so they eat lots of hay greens high in vitamin C, which is critical for them to stay healthy.
• They love to exercise. Give them an hour of play time outside their cage and your pigs will stay happy both physically and mentally. A small room to explore, like a bathroom or long hallway, keeps them from getting bored.
• They don’t care for expensive toys. A nice paper tube serves as a tunnel and place to hide (those big exercise balls can cause spinal, foot and ankle injuries).
• They don’t need a brush or comb. Unless you have a long-haired pig, such as a Sheltie, their hair is easy to manage and they can style it themselves.
• They don’t need baths. Pigs are naturally clean animals so no need to bathe them (besides, they can easily contract colds and pneumonia if bathed).
• They love annual check-ups. Guinea pigs live five to seven years on average so yearly check-ups are a must to check their teeth, heart and skin. Book your appointment at our full-service HSN Veterinary Clinic.
• They have a delightful way of communicating. They speak in squeaks, chortles, grunts, wheeks, purrs, rumbles, coos and chirps!
• They love being indoors. We do not recommend outside play time, as guinea pigs can be easy prey for others, pick up parasites and poisons or escape from the yard.
To learn more about guinea pigs, click here or contact Frank Micielli, our resident small animal specialist at 239-643-1555. He can answer all your questions about guinea pig care.